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Android apps "too expensive," cost more than double those on iOS

Android apps
Android apps are too expensive, a study by Canalys concluded. The researcher looked at apps on the Android Market and found that in general they cost 2.5 times those on the more mature iOS where fierce competition drives prices down.

Shocked? So are we, but the facts set the record straight - Canalys took the top 100 apps on both app markets and compared the total cost. On the Android Market the top 100 applications will set you back $374.37, or an average of $3.74 per app, while on the App Store you can get the top 100 apps for $147, or a measly $1.47 apiece. That means Android apps are nearly 2.5 times more expensive in the light of the picked apps.

Canalys reasons that there are two main reasons behind this:

1. Apple has a more mature, more competitive environment, forcing developers to lower the prices of their creations.

2. Android users aren’t that prone to spending money on apps. Thus, developers are trying to reap the most of what customers are already buying.

We could also add another speculation by saying that in general Android users are considered geekier, more of power users, so they are willing to pay more for more advanced apps.

"Selling more apps at higher prices is the Holy Grail for developers, but achieving big volumes of paid apps on Android is no small challenge. More aggressive price competition around Android apps would help to encourage more consumers to make their first app purchases, drive greater download volumes, and ultimately be good for the vibrancy of the app ecosystem," Canalys' analyst Rachel Lashford summarized.

Android apps "too expensive," cost more than double those on iOS
Interestingly, the top 100 titles on both markets differ hugely - there are only 19 repeating titles. Most common bestsellers like Where’s My Water (currently holding the number one spot on both App Stores), Cut the Rope and Fruit Ninja are priced equally, but other titles like Monopoly cost five times more on the Android Market. 

Feel free to dive in the links below and make the comparison yourself, and let us know your thoughts whether that conclusion is valid for the whole of the Android Market and the App Store.


source: Canalys via BGR

Press Release

66 Comments
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posted on 24 Feb 2012, 07:03 32

1. ilia1986 (unregistered)


So.. you take 2 groups, both with less than 20% common observations on both sides, and you find that Group A has on average 2.5x the price of the average price of Group B?

Any person who studied basic econometrics will say to you outright that such a research is complete bulls**t. You essentially can't compare the two groups if only 19% of the obs are common among them.

A proper study - which isn't really hard - would be to take 100 apps on Android, and THE SAME 100 apps on iOS - and then compare the prices between the two.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 07:19 18

3. godspeed (Posts: 4; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)


first of all, calling this a study is hilarious. How can they even not compare the same apps?? what were they thinking? This is so completly useless.

Dear Canalys, wanna know some? 80% oft the top 100 IPhone sell apps are free on Android market. Now go and include that into your brainless "study"

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 07:31 15

8. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Indeed many paid iOS apps on top are free on they Android market

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 09:21 6

20. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


my favorite ios paid android free apps-
every angry birds title

i find this especially hilarious considering all of the angry birds apps made top 100 in the app store.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 07:20 3

4. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 642; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


i agree with you!

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 09:46 9

24. Synack (Posts: 669; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


Android Market = better

The vast majority of the important apps are free.
The paid apps are few and far inbetween and that being said, they are also the most outrageously awesome apps that people are willing to pay a good price for.

I'm not going to go to the Top 100 right now but I guarantee you there are apps that are $10, $20, and up. But that is because the amazing service they offer. Such apps allow Android users to do things that iPhoners cannot do. Which we all know leads up to this:

An"Droid Does", iPhone doesn't.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:19 2

41. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


you clearly have not have gone window shopping on the Android Market right?...

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:25 11

43. remixfa (Posts: 14151; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


and neither have you

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 08:37 7

14. bloodline (Posts: 693; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


This guy knows what his talking and to be honest phones arena shouldnt even have this on the site.

Vote- phone arena to remove this bs post !!!!

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:16 1

40. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


since the beginning iOs is different than Android.. and comparison have been going on.. why stop now... because it doesnt favor Android.. please.. is Friday... you can do better

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:50 2

49. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I don't think it does not favor android at all

just toll a different title and wazam! you get an pro android atricle

for example

"android devs make more money per download than their iOS counterpart"

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 12:53 1

53. 14545 (Posts: 1152; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I have to agree, but not just because of what you said. but also the fact that most of the apps that are on the market are not on the app store. For example, torque, an OBDII reader app, isn't on the app store and the only equivalents are like 50-100 dollars, Vs. the 5 I paid for torque pro. That's not to say that there isn't apps that are more expensive on the market, vs the app store, but this study seems really bias.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 07:08 5

2. WinC76 (Posts: 55; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Still cheaper than most of the paid apps on Windows Phone.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 07:23 1

6. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Ouch!

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 09:04

16. Luuthian (Posts: 219; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


So true... Especially the games. Nothing like paying 3-4x as much for an iOS game that's 2 or more years old.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 09:47 1

25. Victor.H (Posts: 462; Member since: 27 May 2011)


That, sir, was my first thought when I read Canalys' report.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 07:22 3

5. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Sorry but I'll put this one with a pound of doubt. That's the dumbest way to check something like that, the top 100 don't measure a thing because top 100's are completely different. While app store has games and social stuff on the top ten Android has titanium backup among other tools

Also apps like whatsapp are free on the market while they cost money on the app store

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 07:30 1

7. DIYguy (Posts: 190; Member since: 27 Feb 2011)


Wp marketplace is extremely expensive... angrybirds is like 2.99€ and assassin's creed 4,99€! But there is a "try" option usually.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 07:32 2

9. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1381; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


people rarely buy from the android market ....others use blackmarket apps

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 07:33 5

10. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I personally use the Android market no worries and apps stay linked to my account even if I buy a new phone

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:43 1

46. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


you can say the same about apple...people who jailbreak probably use installous for pirated apps....

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 07:36 8

11. andro. (Posts: 1971; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


A ridiculous study no doubt produced by pro apple supporters. How about the simply most popular of all apps Angry birds being free android but not ios?!

Ive have notice Victor H has been posting very pro apple and subtle anti android articles recently

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 07:44 2

12. ilia1986 (unregistered)


I've noticed that too.. Aren't writers and reporters are supposed to be in favor of freedom and against oppression?

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:22 1

42. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


thats is a cheap shot against a writer that doesnt write in your favor illia,.... freedom and oppresion?.. lol. good one... is nice to see yo u have a sense of humor...

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 09:20

19. bucky (Posts: 1574; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


look at it how u want. Its a simple study with very few variables but it makes sense. Take the most post popular apps from both sides, add the total price. It is what it is.

Take it easy, no "pro Apple" claims needed! lol

If i wanted to start somewhere i would do it like that

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 09:24 1

21. ilia1986 (unregistered)


All that means is the generally speaking - Android users spend more money on more expensive apps.

It DOES NOT MEAN that Android apps are too expensive and\or cost more than double those on iOS, like the article suggested it does.

If I have 10 pancakes, and I sell 1 of them - chocolate flavored - for 10$, and I sell the other 9 - potato flavored for 5$ - and you have 10 pancakes and sell all of them - potato flavored - for 5$ - does that mean that my pancakes are too expensive and\or cost double the price of yours? NO! It just means - assuming we both sell out completely - that my customers are willing to pay more money over DIFFERENT more expensive products. That's all it means. It's that simple.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 09:44

23. bucky (Posts: 1574; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


again, over complicating and adding too many variables. Its a SIMPLE gauge. Saying android apps are more expensive isnt correct, i agree, however the top 100 apps are more expensive.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 10:21 2

29. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I can agree, to me in some way we could say that top 100 apps get more money in average compared with the top 100 on the app store. its not a measure of how expensive the stores are but I can say that in average the dev in the top 100 is making more money per download compared with the app store

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 09:56 5

27. Victor.H (Posts: 462; Member since: 27 May 2011)


I find those comments about my pro-Apple writing amusing, but let me make this clear - Android apps being too expensive is Canalys' conclusion that I report on and I find this conclusion legit in the light of the apps they've sampled.

I think what Canalys has done is an interesting and easy way to compare the two app catalogs.

At the same time, I don't find the method they've used adequate to draw general conclusions about the two markets, and I haven't anywhere said I agree with this method. Hope that makes it clear.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 10:13 1

28. ilia1986 (unregistered)


How can you say that you find their conclusion legit, and at the same time claim that you don't find the method which they used as adequate to draw general conclusions? Bit of contradicting yourself, isn't it?

And bucky - as I said - it just shows that the top 100 on Android is more expensive. Yes. That said - these are DIFFERENT APPS on their vast majority.

also lol at your statement saying that I over complicate things. The more complicated a statistical analysis is - the more accurate it is. If you can't handle this basic assumption - well - too bad for you.

Oh, and Victor - it troubles me that you find those comments about your pro-Apple writing as amusing - because I find your pro-Apple writing as troubling in fact. I can bring you at least one example: In the "How to turn your smartphone into a PC" Article, your default choice for a wireless keyboard\mouse was Apple hardware. I can find the exact quote, if you like.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 10:28 2

30. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


The conclusion is legit because the 100 apps scan showed apps purchased on top shows android users that buy apps are buying the expensive one

he does not agree because the method is not that good to measure is not the best that could be used

hot apps are sold around the same price in some cases and many android apps are tools for more customization or other stuff

also if he likes iOS that's his problem, don't go aiming at his preference when making a reply, its horrible

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 10:36 2

33. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Yes, as I said - Android users spend more cash on top 100 apps. If that was the intended conclusion - then *yes* - it is legit. It is nearly meaningless, though, because as I've claimed several times already - the top 100 lists on both Android and iOS contain different apps for the most (81%) part.

And if he likes iOS it's fine. As you said - it's his problem. But if he allows his preference to manifest itself into his articles - that's problematic. An editor\writer is supposed to be objective in the articles he writes\edits.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:03

37. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I beg to differ, most writers I know show some of their preference when writing, its normal to see that, there is no one better to tell how whats bad about something than someone who has experienced the same thing in a different way. so unless its a hate post i don't see it badly

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 10:34

32. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


also can you refer to the post you are talking about?

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 10:41

34. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Sure

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Heres-how-you-can-use-your-cell-phone-as-a-PC-replacement_id26783

"- Apple's Magic Trackpad (you can also use a Bluetooth-enabled mouse),
- Apple Wireless Keyboard (you can also try any Bluetooth-enabled keyboard),"

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 10:48

35. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


read carefully that's not Victor H.

"To prove the idea, Christian Cantrell took his Samsung Galaxy Nexus to the test. We should note that the Galaxy Nexus features the TI OMAP4460 chip, one of the most powerful pieces of silicon out there, so it’s a good choice for handling more advanced tasks. An equally or more powerful device would be a good fit, but you might be annoyed by slower devices, so our recommendation is to pick your phone carefully for this.

Here’s what Cantrell used to make his Galaxy Nexus work as a computer:

- Samsung Galaxy Nexus (not rooted, stock phone),
- microUSB/MHL to HDMI cable,
- Apple's Magic Trackpad (you can also use a Bluetooth-enabled mouse),
- Apple Wireless Keyboard (you can also try any Bluetooth-enabled keyboard),
- external monitor with an HDMI port."

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 10:53 2

36. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Oh.. well I take my words back then.

However just shows how easy it is to see things like that as promotions of Apple products. One must indeed read carefully.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 12:51 1

51. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1653; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


im still laughing at your potato flavored pancake analogy

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 21:45 1

60. remixfa (Posts: 14151; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


or he could of just had it laying there and was being honest about what he used. i dunno ilia buddy, i think your kinda reachin on that one.

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 03:45

63. bayusuputra (Posts: 944; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)


no, because the top apps include rooting apps, and those cost quite high.. but, so what? if android apps are more expensive, so be it.. i haven't spent more than $20 on apps.. and i choose what i want to pay.. i don't play games, and the games that i bought were those discounted games during the 10c app promo..

this article is just saying that if you compare the top 100 PAID apps, android will cost you more to buy all of them.. but if you compare the top 100 apps (free or paid) that maybe another thing.. so, i the only thing that bothers me is why and how on earth can this simple comparison be called a study.. i can do that in less than an hour.. and that's not a study, because a study includes many other factors that are obviously being ignored in this so-called "study"..

it's not the result, it's just how this simple comparison can be called a study.. now i can't help but think that i can do these kind of simple comparisons and label them as study in order to complete my thesis or something..

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 08:26 1

13. bluechrism (Posts: 99; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Just a thought here but while the benefit to the consumer of cheaper apps is obvious, the benefit to developers and therefore the insentive to new developers actually works the other way. ON either app store, there are already so many apps that discoverability is a problem so if a developer creates an app, it might never make much recognition and therefore much money for that developer who spent time to create it. The fact is the average cost even on android is less than the cost of a large coffee at Starbucks so frankly, i'd say its good to know that a good app can still sell well, even if the developer charges for it.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 08:54

15. itiswhatitis (Posts: 423; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


no wonder why 9mm HD cost me almost 7 bucks!!!

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 09:12 1

17. jcpwn2004 (Posts: 314; Member since: 18 Jan 2012)


Seriously how to I become an analyst? Do they make good money? Seems like you can make whatever observations/predictions you want, and even if they're wrong it doesn't matter.

"Oh yah I believe the iphone 5 for sure will come out some time in the 2nd half in 2012"

Pay me please.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 09:19 1

18. Hallucinator (Posts: 344; Member since: 24 May 2010)


You android folk have an inferiority complex or something. Anytime an article or study is not in your favor you blow a fricken gasket.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 09:29 1

22. ilia1986 (unregistered)


I could respond to that, but I merely need to point to your nickname.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 12:52

52. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1653; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


and iFans don't? You are hallucinating...

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 13:32 1

54. Hallucinator (Posts: 344; Member since: 24 May 2010)


Not compared to the way you guys are acting right now. You guys are out of control. Lol

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 13:56 1

55. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Yep.. Because we don't like Control. Unlike eyeSheep. :P

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 14:07 1

56. Hallucinator (Posts: 344; Member since: 24 May 2010)


Dude, it's a phone. Get a little perspective.

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 00:38

62. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Dude it's a PC. Get a little perspective.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 09:51 2

26. clutsic (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Feb 2012)


Such BS. I checked both App Stores as of today. The only reason why this guy can come off with this bulls**t statistic is because, The IOS App Stores Top 100 apps are all BS games and random miscellaneous cheap simple utilities. Now on the Android Market, the majority of the Top 100 applications are all comprised of "USEFUL BUSINESS APPS, USEFUL TOOLS and AWESOME HD GAMES". There are currently no utilities that are worth anything other than "99 cents" on the IOS App store. This is mainly due to the fact that android applications are indeed cheaper. Perfect example, Quickoffice Pro HD is a highly useful application. IOS App Store Price - $19.99. Android Market Price - $14.99. So you were saying?

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 10:30 1

31. TimTebow (Posts: 70; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


dumb article. I always notice ios apps to be more expansive.

$70 for gps apps..

thought it was common knowledge that android apps are cheapever overall.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:34 2

45. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


people that uses Apple are different than people that use Android... so the needs are different so of course the top apps will be different on both markets.. is common sense.. I know this news hurt the fandroids everywhere... but is Friday load up on vitamin A (apple) and have a good weekend

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:49 3

48. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


to do a fair comparison you need to compare the prices of the same apps.

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:06

38. dirtydirty00 (Posts: 267; Member since: 21 Jan 2011)


wait a minute... when i compare i usually find the opposite... hmmm...

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:16

39. atheisticemetic (Posts: 377; Member since: 18 Dec 2011)


i think someone forgot to mention the 'red gem' app on IOS that cost $1000 bucks that some people got screwed on :)

Also the App store has more apps so simple math would suggest that if they have more apps their average is going to be less (as it would take more higher cost apps to bring that average up).
Since the Android Market mostly offers free apps their average (paid apps) is going to be much higher considering they have less apps that you actually have to pay for, and the developers have to get money in some way right?

again the first rule of statistics is how we interpret them....

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 14:08

57. -box- (Posts: 3878; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


if the Market has a higher number of free apps, statistically the average would be lower, as you have X number of free apps ($0.00) plus the total prices of all the other apps (Y apps for total cost of A), the $0.00 price is going to bring the average (Y) down quite a bit, especially with the high number of them. With the itunes app store there's fewer free apps (AFAIK), and lots of apps for $0.99, and the usual mix of higher-cost paid apps, so ((X*0.00)+(A/Y)/N)=Y, translated to: cost of all the apps added together divided by the total apps in market = average price of all apps

posted on 25 Feb 2012, 09:16

64. atheisticemetic (Posts: 377; Member since: 18 Dec 2011)


you wouldnt calculate free apps into a statistic that is suggesting HOW MUCH YOU PAY for an app on average

you dont need complex math for that variable do you?

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:33 3

44. remixfa (Posts: 14151; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


what a BS study. you look at the same apps, not just a random grouping.

wanna know whats in our top 100 paid apps? Clockwork Mod and Titanium Backup.. both expencive apps that you will never find on iOS and both are mainstays of the huge modding community. They deserve every penny they get. And its a volunteer paid. Most of the apps on android have both a free version and a paid version.

What a stupid and pointless "study"

posted on 24 Feb 2012, 11:47 1

47. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


this is like comparing 2 stores...take there top 10 items which and get the average price to determ whos more expensive...obviously some items are going to more expensive.the best way and fairly compare is to get the same items or in this case the same apps in both market and then compare the average....obviously the top apps are going to differ so its silly to compare just based on the popular apps...especially when most of the paid apps are free on android like angry birds.

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